Hundreds turn out for Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Hundreds turn out for Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Winter arrived just in time for this year's Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. The arthritis foundation's event took place on the UW-Eau Claire campus Saturday morning with an eye on raising money and awareness for a disease that inflicts one in five Americans.

Snow on the ground tends to put people in the Christmas spirit, a spirit that is already abundant in those involved with this years arthritis foundation's jingle bell run-walk for arthritis.

"We work with the University, we work with the Kinesiology club, and the UW Cross Country Team.  They help us get the word out, raise awareness not only at the college but also in the community.  It's always great to have more of the holiday spirit with the snow on the ground I think it gets people more in the mood and a little more festive," says Special Events Manager Lindsey Kumlien.

This year's jingle bell honoree is Christa Stabe.

"I have rheumatoid arthritis which is the autoimmune disease, it went undiagnosed for three years, and then I was not even on medication for about another four years after that.  I'm now medicated and happy and healthy, but it's a struggle and there is a lot of people afflicted with it.  That's why it is so near and dear to me to raise money for such a good cause," says Stabe.

A cause that brought hundreds of local people together to raise money and awareness to a disease that affects millions of Americans.

"We have some reindeer in the front, a little sleigh in the back.  We're just bringing up some Christmas spirit for a really good cause," says Drew Sternecker, who joined his friends in dressing up like Santa's sleigh during the run.

The proceeds from today's run benefit the arthritis foundation, whose programs help the over 50 million Americans who are currently suffering from the disease.

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